Bandits Zach Bookman Named CJHL Top Defenceman

CALGARY, AB – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday that Brooks Bandits defenceman Zach Bookman has been selected as the CJHL Top Defenceman Award recipient for the 2021-22 campaign.

The 20-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., product earned the honour over fellow   top defenceman finalists Mark Cooper, Hawkesbury Hawks (CCHL); Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois, Panthères de St-Jérà´me (LHJAAAQ); Andrew Gibson, Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) and Xavier Lapointe, Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL), following a voting process completed by each of the nine CJHL-member leagues.

A NCAA Division I commitment to Merrimack College (Hockey East), Bookman established three new AJHL records for his on-ice excellence during the course of the regular season.

Those league marks included the most points in a single-season by a defenceman (102) as well as most assists (81) by a blueliner and highest helper total (81) by a first-year player.

The recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Memorial Trophy as the AJHL’s Outstanding Defenceman, Bookman paced all rearguards in offensive production and finished third overall, among all players, in league scoring.

He was also a four-time winner of AJHL Defensive Player of the Week laurels.

Last week saw Bookman slotted 163rd overall, among North American skaters, in the final National Hockey League Central Scouting draft rankings.

Bookman joins Cale Makar, who won in 2016-17, as Bandits who’ve won the CJHL Top Defenceman Award

The Bandits will represent the AJHL at the 2022 Centennial Cup in Estevan, SK. They open the tournament on Thursday, May 19 vs College Francais de Longueuil.